Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 459–473 | Cite as

Reliability and validity of a brief instrument for assessing post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Edna B. Foa
  • David S. Riggs
  • Constance V. Dancu
  • Barbara O. Rothbaum
Article

Abstract

This study examines the psychometric properties of two versions of the PTSD Sympton Scale (PSS). The scale contains 17 items that diagnose PTSD according to DSM-III-R criteria and assess the severity of PTSD symptoms. An interview and self-report version of the PSS were administered to a sample of 118 recent rape and non-sexual assault victims. The results indicate that both versions of the PSS have satisfactory internal consistency, high test-retest reliability, and good concurrent validity. The interview version yielded high interrater agreement when administred separately by two interviewers and excellent convergent validity with the SCID. When used to diagnose PTSD, the self-report version of the PSS was somewhat more conservative than the interview version.

Key Words

PTSD Symptom Scale DSM-III-R self-report 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association (1980).Diagnosis and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd Edition). Washington, D.C.: Author.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association (1987).Diagnosis and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd Edition, rev.). Washington, D.C.: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Atkeson, B., Calhoun, K., Resick, P., and Ellis, E. (1982). Victims of rape: Repeated assessment of depressive symptoms.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 50: 96–102.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelsohn, M., Mock, J., and Erbaugh, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression.Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 4: 561–571.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Davidson, J., Smith, R., and Kudler, H. (1989). Validity and reliability of the DSM-III criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder: Experience with a structured interview.J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 177: 336–341.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Horowitz, M. J., Wilner, N., and Alvarez, W. (1979). Impact of event scale: A measure of subjective distress.Psychosom. Med. 41: 207–218.Google Scholar
  7. Keane, T. M., Caddell, J. M., and Taylor, K. T. (1988). Mississippi scale for combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder: Three studies in reliability and validity.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 56: 85–90.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Kilpatrick, D. G. (1988). Rape aftermath symptom test. In Hersen, M., and Bellack, A. S. (eds.),Dictionary of Behavioral Assessment Techniques Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  9. Kilpatrick, D. G., Amick, A., and Resnick, H. S. (1988, September).Preliminary research data on post-traumatic stress disorder following murders and drunk driving crashes, Paper presented at the National Organization for Victim Assistance's 14th Annual Meeting, Tucson, Arizona.Google Scholar
  10. Kilpatrick, D. G., Saunders, B. E., Veronen, L. J., Best, C. L., and Von, J. M. (1987). Criminal victimization: Lifetime prevalence, reporting to police, and psychological impact.Crime Delin. 33: 479–489.Google Scholar
  11. Putnam, J. J. (1881). Recent investigations into patients of so-called concussion of the spine.Boston Med. Surg. J. 109: 217.Google Scholar
  12. Rado, S. (1942). Pathodynamics and treatment of traumatic war neurosis (traumatophobia).Psychosom. Med. 42: 363–368.Google Scholar
  13. Rigler, R. (1879). Bever die Folgen der Verletzungen auf Eisenbahnen, insbesondere der Verletzungen des Ruckenmarks.Mit Hinblick auf das Haftpflichfgesetz dargestellf VIII, 124: 80, Berlin, Germany.Google Scholar
  14. Robins, L. N., Helzer, J. D., Croughan, J., and Ratcliff, K. S. (1981). The NIMH diagnostic interview schedule: Its history characteristics and validity.Arch. Gen. Psychiatr 38: 381–389.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Rothbaum, B. O., Foa, E. B., Riggs, D. S., Murdock, T., and Walsh, W. (1991).Post-traumatic stress disorder following rape. (Unpublished manuscript).Google Scholar
  16. Spielberger, C. D., Gorsuch, R. L., and Lushene, R. E. (1970).Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (self-evaluation questionnaire) Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA.Google Scholar
  17. Spitzer, R. L., Williams, J. B. W., and Gibbon, M. (1987).Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) Biometrics Research Department, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Weisenberg, M., Solomon, Z., Schwarzwald, J., and Mikulincer, M. (1987). Assessing the severity of posttraumatic stress disorder: Relation between dichotomous and continuous measures.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 55: 432–434.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edna B. Foa
    • 1
  • David S. Riggs
    • 1
  • Constance V. Dancu
    • 1
  • Barbara O. Rothbaum
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical College of PennsylvaniaEastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric InstitutePhiladelphia

Personalised recommendations